Friday, 18 March 2011

Clober GC - Course no 382

I played this excellent 18 hole parkland course just north of Glasgow on 18 March 2011.  Clober is only 4824 yards, Par 66 off the Yellow tees and was playing even shorter as some Winter tees and greens were still in play due to frost and recent heavy rain and snow.  In the circumstances, the course was in surprisingly good condition.  Although most of the course was pretty flat and easy walking, there were some ominously severe looking hills, as in this view from the side of the 1st green.  The course is pretty compact, with several tees in view from some greens, so the map on the scorecard was invaluable.  Even so, my navigation skills were tested to the full - and yes, the 14th really does go up that improbably steep hill!

I played the opening holes reasonably well and was pretty confident of playing such a short course in under net par.  There are  some seriously good holes at Clober and some that although short, require absolute accuracy.  This is not my strong point at present as my alignment problems over Ardeer demonstrated so scoring well would still be a test.   My favourite hole at Clober was the short 109 yard par 3 5th, as shown here.  A Winter green was in play reducing the hole to around 90 yards, so anything other than dead straight would be severely punished.  I managed a good par but this was a lovely looking hole. 

The Winter tee at the 6th was actually at the very back of the medal tee, turning this into a fearsome 310 yard Par 4.  Sounds short enough, but the hole is blind, requiring a dead straight drive to avoid OOB on the left and doing serious damage to anyone playing the 15th, as this view from the tee suggests.  Thankfully, I managed a good drive and an easy par.  The 7th competes with the 14th for the hilliest hole at Clober and is justifiably the Stroke Index 2 hole.  Although only 345 yards long, only a huge drive is likely to crest the hill, so I'd a blind second, played into a strong head wind, completely blind, with only the passing clouds to aim at.  Well, that's my excuse for a lucky bogey that could have been much worse!

I'd gone out in 35, 2 over par, with a birdie at the 8th hole, a 469 yard Par 5, after a good single putt on the Winter green, some 30 yards short of the normal surface.    I particularly liked the 11th, a 318 yard par 4, sharp dog leg right.  I'd hit a good drive but was too close to some trees blocking the route to the green, where the head greenkeeper was busy moving the hole.  He very kindly stood aside to let me play, but my second shot hit the top of the tallest tree and my third hit another tree, rebounding into the open fairway.  Thankfully a 50 yard pitch to 3 feet was enough to let me escape without further embarrassment but the greenkeeper had finished his work before I had!

I'm not a great fan of blind par 3's so was disappointed to find that the 153 yard 15th was blind, over another steep hill.  I'd only just got my breath back after the 14th, so walking 100 yards uphill to get a line was all I needed.  This is the view half way to the 15th green.  The line looked to be well left of the green, allowing the ball to run down the hill.  Unfortunately, the grass was just long enough to hold my ball on the down slope, but a good 15 foot putt saved the par.  The 18th is a 285 yard Par 4, drivable for the bigger hitters.  I needed a short sand iron for my second shot, but had to wait for a few minutes for the greenkeeper to finish work blowing leaves etc.  from the green.  The 1st tee is just to the right of the 18th green, well within sh---ing range, so with a crowd of 12 or so seniors waiting to play off, it was no surprise that I missed the small green to the left.  A good lob wedge from there to within 2 feet helped me escape with a closing par.  I'd gone round in 73, net 63, or 3 under net par, so a good round.  

I'd really enjoyed the Clober course, and I'd recommend you give it a try.   

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